Skepchick Quickies, 6.10


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. I wonder if Obama is compromising. Keep your enemies closer, that sort of thing. Or perhaps he thinks that he can influence the issue if he starts with the worst case scenario.

    Who knows. I seriously doubt this is any sort of pro-life attempt on his part though.

  2. Umm…. on Intelligender… it doesn’t predict the sex of the baby at home. I was actually in the process of writing a post about it.

    I guess I have to finish it now.

  3. I regret that the Cancer article is written exactly as the sales pitch of any Homeopathic product. It tells a story with no details that, I suppose, I must believe. It really left me “in the air” – a “study”? WTF?

  4. 1) Obama is pandering to the dumber parts of America

    2) Is there such thing as a good choice for faith leader? Other than me, of course, but I’d radically alter the entire program, in favor of the totally radical.

  5. I read that comic on Monday, and it took me until today to get that pun. Or even to realize there was a pun in the comic.

    I blame it on being a huge computer nerd. And a dude.

  6. Let’s let Gloria Steinem be our guide here. She famously said that it is a great tool to flip the sexes in your head to see if things still make sense. If they don’t and there isn’t a clear-cut biological reason for it, there may be something wrong with your thinking.

    Would “Women live better where men are in charge: you are responsible for almost nothing…” sound like a compelling argument? No, it would not.

    How about “men are simply the more effective and reliable gender. However, they do say that the ‘really big’ decisions — like [what color to paint the kitchen and which groceries to buy] are made by the women. Women are good for this kind of decision-making as well as [cooking and cleaning].” That sound good?

    Not doing so well here…

  7. Obama does seem to be a “big tent” kind of guy, but you don’t want to make the tent so big it falls on your head.

  8. @TheCzech:

    they do say that the ‘really big’ decisions — like [what color to paint the kitchen and which groceries to buy] are made by the women. Women are good for this kind of decision-making as well as [cooking and cleaning

    Then I must be a woman. I wonder how the penis got their?

  9. Why pay good money for a prebirth gender test with 80% accuracy when you can do the postbirth gender test with 99% accuracy for free?

  10. @Skepotter: Because prebirth, there is the chance you can change the outcome. Somebody will come up with magic herbs to do that.

  11. For that matter, a coat hanger can change the outcome.
    From what I understand, once the gender is detectable, it is immutable.
    Not that there is an insufficiency of people offering ‘cures’ at a price.

  12. I thought the Musuo article was a little offensive. It sort of reminds me of the reverse of how women used to be viewed (and still are viewed in some areas). The author is basically saying that it’s great for men because they don’t have to worry their pretty little heads over decision-making and responsibility. I don’t think that makes up for being powerless. From what I’ve read about the Musuo before this article, men still have to work and help out on their mother’s farm. They still take responsibility for raising children, but they do it for their nieces and nephews instead of their own children. I have also read that the Musuo generally aren’t as promiscuous as they might seem. Even though they don’t require commitment, it’s common for a couple to have a long-term relationship, and most people have just one or a few partners at a time.

    Coler is an anthropologist who studied this society directly, but he has portrayed this culture very differently from what I have read before. I don’t know what to make of that.

  13. @catgirl: I didn’t know anything about them before, but, based on that article, I agree with you. I think the entire thing was written for sensationalism’s sake – it’s an interesting topic, but not one so easily summed up.

  14. @TheCzech: A more in depth analysis of the same thing I was thinking. Men live better because they have no responsibilities? Because they’re treated like children?

    No thanks.

  15. @TheCzech: I’m glad I’m not the only who found that essay a little suspicious.

    I guess I should read through comments before I post mine, but I tend to forget my initial points after reading through all the comments.

  16. @catgirl: I write mine, read the comments, and then see if I want to change anything before I hit submit. Sometimes I just close the window, all I want to say has been said.

    @Peregrine: I felt like I should turn in my skeptic’s card when I finally got the joke in this one, about 3 weeks later.

    @TheCzech: Excellent tool, and much more to the point than the rambling “what’s it mean to live better? Be coddled like a child?” kind of response I had in mind. It’s just playing to stereotypes that women are gentler and thus wiser rulers (and men happy to kick back and let others do the work), an idea that coexists with the stereotype of women being hormonal, unstable, and irrational. At least one of these has to be wrong. Or both. Let’s go with both.

  17. @catgirl: It’s really more than a little offensive since it manages to reduce both men and women to stereotypes. This, like almost all supposed treatments of the “what if women were in charge” question, assumes that there would be one simple answer to this question.

    ‘Cause, it couldn’t possibly be that you would get a wide variety of complex results like you have in various societies where men are the rulers.

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